What he said:
I remember this movie when it came out. My dad took me to
see it in the theater. I was super excited for a few reasons.
First, I had never seen an Alien movie in theaters
and was looking forward to experiencing it on the big screen.
Additionally, Aliens was probably the first entry in
the series that I saw. I’m not completely sure if it was or
wasn’t, but it was certainly the most memorable one from my
youth. Aliens is an ass-kicker of an action movie and
a pretty damn terrifying movie to boot. With a multitude of
scary monsters and a group of space marines to fight them, it
was just the kind of movie a father and son bonded over. I
even remember taking a trip to The Franklin Institute to see
an exhibit on the movie; as well as a few
Very much like the original, Aliens ended with
Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) on her way back to Earth after
encountering the creepy crawly aliens. Well this time, she
crash-lands on a prison planet, where the worst of the worst
spend the rest of their lives performing manual labor.
Being stuck at a prison would be frightening enough, but
even more so when you are a woman and the inmates are known
for brutal crimes against women. In an attempt to find some
peace, the inmates found religion. It’s questionable how much
of it actually sticks with them because they view her presence
as more of a threat rather than a test. They actually hate her
for just being there; so-much-so that a few of them are
tempted to resort to their old ways. Things get even more
interesting when one of the aliens actually makes its presence
known. Can Ripley trust these guys? Can they put aside their
own sick temptations and join forces to fight the creature? In
addition to providing some gritty drama, they also provide
many amusing moments; such as this one or this one.
Charles S. Dutton plays Dillon. He is the one inmate that
all the others turn to for guidance and leadership.
There are actually administrators there who are in
charge of the facility, but he sort of unofficially runs the
place. He keeps the inmates in check when they are out of line
and is also their spiritual leader. I loved Dutton’s
performance. I felt he portrayed who and what the character is
all about just perfectly. He has a very commanding presence
throughout the movie; particularly in scenes such as this.
Charles Dance was also very good as Clemens. He is the
facility’s medical officer and also the only one who treats
Ripley like a human being. The other inmates loath her for
simply being a woman, but he’s a little more sensible. The
character also serves as a nice outlet for showing a little
more depth to Ripley’s character similarly to how Newt (Carrie
Henn) did in Aliens.
There honestly isn’t a bad performance amongst any of the
inmates, but these two stood out.
I have heard a lot of mixed reaction to this film. I have
seen a lot more positive reaction to it online in recent
years, but I also know the movie also has a long history of
being criticized. I honestly don’t see what the big glaring
problem is; I always found it to be a solid movie. It’s not
perfect and I too can find some problems with it – such as
some really bad effects in a few scenes and a
potential plot hole or two – but overall it keeps as dark and
gritty as ever. It’s even grittier than the other in some ways
with the introduction of the whole prison planet. I also give
it credit for the creature design. The alien in this one has
four legs instead of two. The host for the creature was not
human and thus it inherited some different traits. I thought
it was a nice creative decision to expand that part of the
creature’s mythos. I also appreciated making things a little
more simple again. I love Aliens, but trying to make an action
movie equal to or bigger than that would have been a mistake.
I will even take it as far as to say I think Alien 3
than Prometheus (review here). Ridley Scott has said he was
not happy with Alien 3, but it is better than his own
attempt to return to the universe he helped created in
Alien. Alien 3 is absolutely worthy of being
considered a sequel to Alien and Aliens as
far as this movie reviewer is concerned. It finishes out the
trilogy perfect. Sorry Alien Resurrection, but you
don’t exist in my eyes.
I’d also like to comment on the director’s version of the
film. I have heard many a fan over the years say that this
version of the movie is better. I completely disagree with
that. Any issues I had with the film were not fixed in the
extended version. Truth-be-told, I actually found that it
created a few unnecessary issues. The fact that somebody felt
the character of Golic released the creature because he viewed
it as some kind of deity was a good idea was ridiculous. It
was totally out of the blue and did not fit with the rest of
the movie at all. I’m glad they scrapped that idea.
Rating: Thumbs up.
This movie review was updated in August of 2012.